INFO 233/Assignment #1: Personal Disposition Statement

 

Dominique Burns

Assignment #1: Personal Disposition Statement

INFO 233-10, Harlan & Buchanan

Spring 2016

In one of my undergraduate classes I had the opportunity to take the Indigo assessment. I have always known that I wanted a career that would give me the opportunity to help others. I just wasn’t completely sure what that career was. The Indigo assessment provided me with a list of possible career choices, which included librarian, teacher, counselor, and social worker. It was librarian that intrigued me the most, but to be honest I wasn’t so sure what that meant as a career. That’s when I stumbled upon a blog titled “The Unquiet Librarian” by Buffy J. Hamilton. Hamilton (2012) wrote about school libraries in today’s world and one of her posts struck a cord with me. Hamilton (2012) wrote:

I still believe in the possibilities of libraries and school librarians–but those will never come to fruition if we acquiesce and abandon the effort to elevate the library as a site of participatory culture and a cornerstone of every child’s learning experience in schools, as a partner who can support our teachers by being embedded as part of the team to give every child positive, constructive, and meaningful learning experiences. (https://theunquietlibrarian.wordpress.com)

Hamilton’s passion for her job was evident and it’s what helped guide me to a career in school librarianship. Numerous things drew me to school librarianship, such as my love for reading, working with others, and the sense of community. What ultimately drew me to school librarianship was that I would be able to work with kids and hopefully make a difference in their lives through education and outreach programs.

As a librarian in training, I hope the profession will allow me to be a “Passionate advocate, a technologist, a teacher, a futurist, a tinkerer” and a reliable resource for my students (Harlan, n.d., p.2). In the lecture, The Many Hats of the Teacher Librarian, Professor Buchanan (n.d.) talks about leadership and the numerous roles you take on as a librarian (slide 6). I hope in the future this profession will give me the chance to take on leadership roles in the school community. As well, give me the opportunity to “wear different hats” as I work with teachers, administrators, and students. I want to run a library that meets the diverse information seeking needs of an entire school community. While this is what I hope the profession will be, I also have concerns. I worry that schools might not be able to see the value in libraries as technology progresses. I fear that schools will look at libraries as book warehouses and not as a place to explore or create (Harlan, n.d., p. 2). I worry that others might be mentally stuck with an outdated understanding of libraries.

In order to bring my dreams for this profession in to full fruition, I need to practice 12 dispositions. The 12 dispositions according to Dr. Harlan (n.d.) are:

  1. Awareness and implementation of a variety of instructional strategies.
  2. Commitment to Information Literacy
  3. Using assessment to improve student learning
  4. Supporting literacy and reading
  5. Supporting diversity
  6. Commitment to intellectual freedom
  7. Communication
  8. Participation in advocacy
  9. Seek opportunity for collaboration
  10. Practice and model resiliency
  11. Develop leadership
  12. Embrace professional ethics (p. 13)

I think of the 12 dispositions, six of them will be my strengths as a school librarian. The six dispositions are a commitment to information literacy, supporting literacy and reading, supporting diversity, commitment to intellectual freedom, developing leadership, and embracing professional ethics.

The first disposition I listed is a commitment to information literacy. I am passionate about helping students find information through numerous ways. The second disposition I choose was supporting literacy and reading, because of my love of reading. The third disposition I picked was supporting diversity, because I believe it is important to meet the interests and information needs of the entire school. The fourth disposition I picked is commitment to intellectual freedom, because I believe this is an important building block to any school library. The fifth disposition I picked was developing leadership, because it is important to foster a learning environment that gives leadership opportunities. The last disposition I picked was embracing professional ethics, because I believe that no matter the profession, one should operate with a strong understanding of right and wrong in their chosen area of work.

While I feel that the above six dispositions could be strengths of mine, I also think there are six dispositions that I will need to improve on in order to be an effective teaching librarian. They are awareness and implementation of a variety of instructional strategies, using assessment to improve student learning, communication, participation in advocacy, seeking opportunity for collaboration, and to practice and model resiliency. I chose these six dispositions because I need to develop them in order to create a habit of mind (Harlan, n.d., p.12).

These dispositions will position me to provide leadership with in my profession and my school because they will make me a stronger librarian. They will make me a well-rounded librarian who supports literacy and reading on a broader spectrum of learning (Harlan, n.d., slide 8). While all of the dispositions are important, the primary focus for me as a librarian will be to make sure that the school library is a learning commons that meets the diverse needs of a diverse student population. Diversity is the largest disposition in my mind, because it affects all of the other 11 dispositions. Diversity requires librarians to be aware, committed, and to support a diverse range of literacy and intellectual freedoms. To act as an advocate and to practice communicating, collaborating, and resiliency for a diverse school population. Lastly, this disposition develops leadership and a professionally ethical librarian. This is why supporting diversity will be one of my primary focuses as I continue on in my journey to school librarianship.

References

Buchanan, S. (n.d.). The many hats of the teacher librarian [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from

https://voicethread.com/new/share/6439365/

Hamilton, J. (2012, April 2). Do I really have to leave the role of school librarian to do the work of a school librarian? [Blog]. Retrieved from

https://theunquietlibrarian.wordpress.com/

Harlan, M. (n.d.). Dispositions [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from

https://sjsulis.voicethread.com/share/5806196/

Harlan, M. (n.d.). Document values, roles, and dispositions. (pp. 1-18). Retrieved from

https://sjsu.instructure.com/courses/1185095/files/42169184/download?wrap=1

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